Robertson Pushes for UPI in Name Only Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson is seeking a cou

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Robertson Pushes for UPI in Name Only ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson is seeking a court order to force United Press Intl to let him buy the rights to its name while effectively shutting down the 85-year-old news agency. Robertson's effort was revealed Tuesday when a US Bankruptcy Court judge scheduled a hearing on the request for Monday. Also at the hearing, Leon Charney, a real estate investor and lawyer who emerged as a potential buyer last week, is to let the court know the terms he might offer to purchase UPI. Charney says a TV-production company formed to cover the presidential campaign joined his group, which put up $180,000 to keep UPI in business through Monday while he looks at its books. Charney entered the bidding after Robertson backed out of a $6 million deal to buy the cash-starved news service. Robertson offered $500,000 for UPI's name and other assets, including its copyrights, current and historical archives and 2 photo contracts it holds. UPI and its creditors, who are owed some $60 million, rejected Robertson's scaled-back offer. Robertson's lawyers then asked Judge Francis Conrad to order it be accepted. In a statement issued by UPI, Charney says he selected ESN-MediaAmerica from several investors interested in joining his group studying a purchase. ESN, or Election Satellite Network, is headed by former NBC News executive Jerry Lamprecht and former NBC producer John Steele. It says it will begin operations during the fall, selling video reports of campaign appearances that the major networks don't want to cover. ** NOTE: If he succeeds I bet we will see some real interesting "NEWS" under the UPI label. In any event his agenda is starting to become clear.

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